“Your persona must be believable and based on values with which your audience can empathize. Truth is an important requirement, but credibility of your truth is more important. Your persona must in every way seem believable. Many ventures have failed because their message seemed incredible—even though it was completely true. You will have no opportunity to explain why your incredible persona is the truth. The Persona must strike a chord of direct empathy with the target audience. “ —The Persona Principle (Simon & Schuster), Chapter 4, The Credibility Factor
The Basic Formula
Although overly simplistic, the most basic credibility formula in branding could be stated as:
- Our offer is extremely credible and dull = use clever, witty and exciting image and message to wake up the audience
- Our offer is true, but my claim is hard to prove = use careful and neutral/credible persona tactics
- Our offer can be proven but is really incredible and exciting = let only the facts speak for you, forget the exclamation points.
Credibility is mission one in marketing. If your message is not believed, no amount of advertising spending will help you succeed. Period.
In 1996, we developed our famous Persona Credibility Index. By indexing the 17 aspects of messaging to your target audiences, with the Persona Credibility Index you can compare your index to competitors. This gives very powerful insight into the type of tactics you should consider in your marketing programs. By indexing against your competitors and from your audience’s perspective, your Persona Credibility Index can add fast momentum to your planning.
Not only is the index meaningful in imaging terms, it also indicates a path to success. In broad terms, an index below 1 indicates you are credible but uninspiring and need to be exciting in your messaging; over 1 indicates the opposite—tone it down. 1 is perfect balance.
This is an overly simplistic description of our famous system. To determine your own Persona Credibility Index, contact us.